Head bob. Its what chickens do to get used to their surroundings. The sad part is, we are doing it too, but we stay forward. If you are at a desk reading this blog or looking at it from your phone, chances are that your neck is forward. Because of our “lovely” devices (phones, PC, tablet), our neck is used to being in this awful position. This causes tension and results in shoulder tightness. So what are ways you can “reset” your neck back to its original position? Let’s take a look.
First and foremost, you want to do something that’s opposite of what it is doing. So if the neck is going forward, we want it to go the other way. When the neck is forward, the muscles in the back are elongated. Meaning, they are working. So let’s figure out ways to relax it. A simple way is to pull your chin back. Using your index finger, press into your chin and gently push in and you should feel a deep stretch in the back of your neck. I call it making a double chin. Not the most aesthetically pleasing, but it gets the job done. The key is to NOT look down when doing this, just simply pressing your chin in.
Chin tuck to fix that head bob.
Another way to stretch the neck is to look up and hold it for 2-3 seconds. This alleviates the front part of the neck muscle called sternocleidomastoid. The function of this muscle is to flex the neck, so when the head is jutting forward, this muscle turns on. So when you’re sitting at your desk with that not-so-great posture, this muscle is contracting. Take time to stretch these when you are sitting; your neck will appreciate it.
Secondly, is to give it a little self massage underneath the base of the skull. There is a muscle that goes alongside here that you can massage. Take your index and middle finger and gently go up and down and side-to-side along that area. Spend some time rubbing that area to alleviate tightness. Key is to apply just enough tension, but not too much because there are tons of nerve that originate in the area. If something hurts, then back off on the pressure. Remember, you are trying to increase blood flow in the area by applying pressure.
In conclusion, our neck got used to the head bob position due to our poor posture. We can blame technology for this, however, its usage in our daily lives are inevitable. So we have to do something to correct this. Stretching the muscle by doing chin tucks and head tilts (looking up slowly) are exercises you can incorporate to get the muscles to go back to its original position. In addition, you can massage the muscle that is underneath the base of the skull to alleviate tightness. Remember, the neck is tight due to our poor posture so spend enough time exercising and massaging it. Hope you liked this week’s blog. Stay tuned for more next Wed………………Kei